Disinfo: Only 17 or 18 really died from COVID-19 in Italy

Summary

There might only be 17 or 18 real deaths from the coronavirus (in Italy).

Corpses are being burned today without referring to a doctor and without a certificate to mention the reason for death whereas everyone who died in Italy is being labelled as “death by coronavirus”.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory to showcase that the Italian government is deliberately hiding the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. It is part of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus.

Professor Walter Ricciardi, scientific advisor to Italy’s minister of health has explained that "on re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity - many had two or three".

This does not mean that COVID-19 did not contribute to a patient's death, rather it demonstrates that Italy's fatality toll has surged as a large proportion of patients have underlying health conditions.

On the other hand, as stretched and sometimes overwhelmed hospitals fight to save their patients, many other people die unseen and uncounted, including elderly people in out-of-the-way locations. In addition, the health-care crisis can lead to a surge of deaths from other causes that would normally be treatable. Eugenio Fossati, deputy mayor of Coccaglio say that "there are many more dead than are officially declared. But this is not a j’accuse. People died and they were never tested because time and resources are limited".

Accordingly, the number of death published by "Johns Hopkins University", has reached 21,645 by 16 April 2020.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/04/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Italy
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Conspiracy theory
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Authoritarian regimes are best at handling disasters

What happens in the United States (the spread of the Coronavirus) confirms that capitalism is a catastrophe, and neoliberalism remains a very big predicament because it only cares for big investors and neglects people.

Democracy cannot be present amid the spread of such an epidemic (Coronavirus). Democracy is a disaster. There must be a dictatorship and I call for more oppression.

Disproof

The claim about the superiority of political authoritarianism and isolationist “closed societies” in preventing and controlling epidemics does not reflect reality. Authoritarian regimes, which tend to control and manipulate information and to limit the freedom of doctors and scientists to engage in international cooperation, are often an obstacle to the timely detection and containment of epidemic outbreaks.

A clear example isChina’s deliberate cover-up of the early days of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. The regime suppressed information about the virus and allowed it to spread unchecked in the crucial early days and weeks. The Chinese authorities censored and detained those doctors and whistleblowers who attempted to sound the alarm and warn their fellow citizens when they understood the gravity of the coronavirus threat.

The COVID-19 outbreak is not about a virus, it is about power

China is partly back to normal, so why drive people to suicide or hunt them like criminals? Because it’s not about the virus anymore, but about power.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about "secret elites" controlling world leaders. When in March 11, 2020 the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, there were more than 118 thousand confirmed coronavirus cases in 114 countries. An updated situation report from WHO on the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. Several countries, including in Europe, have introduced restrictions on movement to curb the spread of the contagion. Some countries are easing the restrictions, as the number of cases fall. See more examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the coronavirus here.

Kyiv will soon try to take back the Donbass

While the world is preoccupied with the coronavirus, Ukraine will soon make a new push to take back the separatist republics in the Donbass by force. Ukraine wants to seal the fate of territories that have not bowed to the coup yet.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine. The EU strongly condemns the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. No coup took place in Ukraine in 2013-2014. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of large parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See more examples of disinformation about the Euromaidan protests here.